How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When it comes the business world portion of my life I have a few gurus who's word and findings I absolutely trust for the truth that they present. Jim Collins is one such author. His seminal work, "Good to Great" was the best business book I have ever read. His first work that he coauthored, "Built to Last" was harder for me to get into, as evidenced by the fact that it still is sitting in my "Currently Reading" list. But this gem, "How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In" is right up there with "Good to Great".
Collins religiously backs up all of his findings with amazing rigorous research. He and his team are top-notch when it comes to backing up their claims, and being a history major where research was crucial to anything I wrote, I highly appreciate all the work that they have put into their findings.
"How The Mighty Fall" is a cautionary tale and it clearly depicts how some of the best companies in various industries fell victim to one or more of the 5 Stages of Decline and as a result never recovered their former industry positions and either declared bankruptcy or were bought out by a competitor. Coming at a time in our current history, where businesses are being scrutinized under a microscope and where many were victims of the capitulation of the financial industry, Collins' stages of decline help make sense of some of the chaos that has gone on in the market. What is more interesting though is that Collins and his team wrote this book before any of the events in 2007/2008 had taken place. Thus they do not directly address the recession that we are currently in, save for in a few appendices that are included at the end of the book (and which are well worth the read).
Collins references that this book was not planned and actually was a side-project that came out of another book that he and his team are working on. If that is the case, I hope it is not too much longer till that is published!
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